The BBC is to cut more than 1,000 jobs, including many managerial roles, the corporation has announced.
The cuts come as the corporation seeks to become “simpler, leaner and more effective for the future”.
- October 20, 2020
- September 29, 2020
- September 25, 2020
They were announced by director general Tony Hall in a speech to staff this morning from the BBC's Media Cafe. His speech was streamed onto staff computers.
The cuts announcement comes after reports the BBC discovered a £150m shortfall in funding from licence fee in 2016/17.
The cuts would amount to around one in 20 BBC staff going.
The BBC said it could deliver £50m in savings from “merging divisions, cutting down management layers, reducing managers and improving processes”. It said that more than 1,000 jobs would be lost as a result.
Asked where the other £100m – making up the rest of the shortfall – would come from, a BBC spokesperson said this would be announced "in due course".
The BBC said it would reduce the number of divisions by “joining up technology teams across Digital, Engineering and Worldwide”, and said: “Further changes are also possible.”
It has also pledged to “reduce the number of layers from the top to the bottom of the organisation. In some places there are currently ten layers of people and management and this will be cut to a maximum of seven in the future.”
The statement also said that the BBC will “reduce management roles in all areas of the BBC. A simpler organisation will inevitably require fewer managers, especially at senior levels.”
And it will also bid to “simplify and standardise procedures across the BBC particularly looking at how professional and support areas such as marketing and communication, finance, HR, IT support and legal are structured and can be simplified.”
In a statement this morning, the corporation said: “Over recent years the BBC has built an impressive savings record that will deliver over £1.5bn of savings a year by 2017. Much of this has been done through cutting administration and property costs, pay and headcount restraint, plus tough decisions like more daytime repeats and shared sports rights.
“A new independent study by PwC being published today ranks the BBC amongst the most efficient organisations in the public and regulated private sectors. Overhead costs are approximately 8 per cent of total costs and will fall to 7 per cent – well below both the public sector average of 11.2 per cent and the regulated industry average of 8.8 per cent.
“Despite the progress already made, and the realities of the licence fee being frozen for seven years, a new financial challenge means additional savings must now be found.
“The licence fee income in 2016/17 is now forecast to be £150m less than it was expected to be in 2011. This is because as more people use iPlayer, mobiles and online catch-up, the number of households owning televisions is falling. It also provides further evidence of the need for the licence fee to be modernised to cover digital services.”
Director General Tony Hall said: “A simpler, leaner, BBC is the right thing to do and it can also help us meet the financial challenges we face.
“We’ve already significantly cut the costs of running the BBC, but in times of very tough choices we need to focus on what really matters – delivering outstanding programmes and content for all our audiences.”
Yesterday, Press Gazette reported a source as saying that managers were in a "real panic" ahead of Hall's speech today.